Strengthening the Community
The Neighborhood Watch Program is a program that enables the police and the community to work together to make specific geographical areas more crime resistant. It is a neighborhood and community based effort, designed to help citizens and the police in preventing primarily residential burglary and other neighborhood related crimes. In harmony with the philosophy of community policing, Neighborhood Watch encourages strong working relationships between the police and the citizens.
Neighborhood Watch programs are known to instill a greater sense of security and well-being. They can also reduce the fear of crime in the community as well as create a greater sense of community and put the neighbor back into neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch also brings law enforcement and the community together as a team to help reduce crime opportunities.
Neighborhood Watch is a program that:
- Teaches citizens how to reduce the risk of victimization at home and away
- Trains citizens on the importance of recognizing suspicious activities and how to report them
- Teaches residents how to make their homes more secure
- Allows neighbors to get to know each other so that any out-of-place activity can be reported promptly
- Creates a cohesive body of concerned citizens that can address other issues that concern the entire community
While a Neighborhood Watch program is normally thought of as being most effective in high-crime areas, it can also be used as a vehicle to enhance a neighborhood that is not experiencing problems.
Start a Group
All that is needed to start a Neighborhood Watch group is a person who is willing to act as a captain. This person, with the help of the Police Department, would distribute invitations to the homes in a designated area and assist in hosting a Neighborhood Watch meeting. At the meeting, a representative from the Police Department would address the group regarding issues such as suspicious situations, when/how to call the police, and residential security. If a sufficient number of homes are represented, Neighborhood Watch signs are installed in the neighborhood.
Anyone interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group should call the Vernon Hills Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at 847-247-4889 or by email.